Black Feminist Literature & Theory

This course introduces students to a variety of works of black feminist literature and theory. We will locate some of the earliest discussions of black women’s rights, identity formation, and politics in the nineteenth century, and read works that extend into our present moment. The course is reading and writing intensive, and every class will require preparation of a primary text and supplementary reading through which we will explore central black feminist discourses. Texts will include autobiographical writings by Harriet Jacobs and Audre Lorde, novels by Gayl Jones and Toni Morrison, and critical readings from the essay collection, Words of Fire, edited by Beverly Guy-Sheftall.

Assignments will include regular online discussions, a mid-term paper, a group presentation, and an individual final project and presentation. Students will be evaluated on their performances in these assignments as well as class attendance and participation. This seminar depends on discussion and participation of every member of the class.